I plucked some rose-leaves from a full-blown flower,
And came to me this thought, that though bereft
Of treasures sweet, yet are some rose-leaves left,
Though but a tithe of our loved former dower.
And when I passed again, the garden bower
Was strewn with petals which the faint wind bore
From off the unpicked stem; a fragrance o'er
The crimson forms crept slow in death's last hour.
So, gentle lady, when in beauty's prime
I heeded not thy excellences rare,
But fondly thought that all-decaying time
Could never dim thy lustrous beauty fair,
Yet death's fell hand, strewing thy early bloom,
Hath made a heaven of the darkest tomb.